Jimmy’s Story

James “Jimmy” Johnson was exposed to asbestos while working as a music stage producer at venues across the globe. Decades later, Jimmy’s life took a drastic turn when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Encouraged by his doctor, Jimmy and his wife Kelley contacted our firm and sought justice by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit against the companies responsible for his illness.

Behind the Scenes of Rock & Roll: The Unknown Risk of Asbestos

Jimmy and Kelley led thrilling lives, traveling around the world to produce shows for iconic music legends like Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Pat Benatar and Chicago.

“I was in showbiz for 56 years,” Jimmy shared. “I worked for Elvis. I worked for the Eagles. Those are the things I’m kinda proud of, next to my wife.”

After spending much of their time in New York for work and the vibrant entertainment hub of California, Jimmy and Kelley decided to settle down. They moved to Tennessee to be located near work and close to family.

However, Jimmy’s health soon began to decline. He had no plans of retiring — but was forced due to his condition.

Jimmy was unaware that he had been exposed to asbestos during his time on the road. For years, microscopic asbestos fibers irritated the tissue within his lungs, silently leading to the development of cancer.

“It was from working in TV and movie studios back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, with the studio equipment like the lighting and the curtains…all of those things had asbestos in them,” said Jimmy.

As part of his job, Jimmy often supervised or participated in tasks involving asbestos, like hanging asbestos sheets, rigging wiring, using asbestos curtains and setting up pyrotechnics.

A Life-Changing Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Before he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, Jimmy underwent surgery for stage 2 lung cancer. At this time, his doctor noticed alarming speckles on the lining of Jimmy’s lungs and realized it was mesothelioma. They weren’t able to remove anything throughout the procedure.

“During surgery recovery, the doctor came out and said, ‘Has he been exposed to asbestos?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, I’ve heard of it, we’re all over the world, but I don’t know,’” recalled his wife Kelley.

After undergoing a series of tests, Jimmy was diagnosed with biphasic pleural mesothelioma. His doctor shared more about his illness and the options available to him during a follow-up appointment.

“The surgeon said to me, ‘You should contact an attorney. This is mesothelioma, there’s something serious here that you need to look into,’” Jimmy explained.

While the couple contemplated the idea of taking legal action, Jimmy’s disease continued to progress. He began using a wheelchair and was placed on oxygen 24/7 — a stark difference from his adventurous past.

“I don’t have free time to do anything because of what’s happened to me,” he said. “My life is spent in this chair and going to doctors’ offices.”

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An Unexpectedly Quick Response

One Sunday afternoon, Jimmy decided to contact a mesothelioma law firm. He called Simmons Hanly Conroy, expecting to leave a message and possibly hear back in the next few days.

“Within 45 minutes of calling, I got a call back. He said, ‘We want to help you. I think we can do something for you. I’ll send somebody out to see you tomorrow.’”
– Jimmy, Mesothelioma Survivor & Firm Client

The next day, Jimmy and Kelley met with their new asbestos attorneys. They had never hired a lawyer or been involved with a lawsuit before but soon felt at ease thanks to the support of their legal team.

“Our attorneys were so great about answering all of our questions,” said Kelley. “This was the best experience we could ever hope to have. We were hand-held through everything.”

The couple worked closely with Attorney Brett Fuller, who was instrumental in guiding them through the mesothelioma lawsuit process.

Even after their case was resolved, their relationship with Brett remains strong. In fact, he’s still in touch with Jimmy and Kelley and continues to be a supportive presence in their lives.

Holding Asbestos Companies Accountable

Many asbestos companies knew their products could cause mesothelioma, but they hid this information from the public in order to protect their profits.

As a result, millions of Americans working across different industries and trades were put at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.

Even though Jimmy’s asbestos exposure occurred decades earlier across multiple locations, our lawyers were able to:

  • Track down the products he worked with
  • Identify the companies that made or sold these products
  • File mesothelioma claims against each of the companies

Soon, Jimmy and Kelley began receiving compensation from the companies responsible for his illness.

“One check showed up, and then another check showed up, and then another, and they’re still coming in now,” expressed Jimmy. “It’s been very satisfying, and what I know is that my wife will be taken care of for the rest of her life after I’m gone.”

Since the cost of treatments can add up quickly, asbestos settlements often help families afford necessary medical care while protecting their financial future.

The Simmons Hanly Conroy Difference

At Simmons Hanly Conroy, we strive to make the legal process as stress-free as possible for our clients.

“It’s been an amazing journey with Simmons Hanly Conroy, handling this for us and teaching us everything there is to know about this,” said Jimmy.

While our lawyers prepare and file your legal claims, our on-staff nurses can help you learn more about your treatment options and support groups in your area.

Kelley and Jimmy quickly established a close relationship with the attorneys handling their case, which eased all of their concerns about filing a mesothelioma claim.

“To me, the Simmons difference is having somebody that we can trust with everything. It was the best experience ever. Why wouldn’t you use Simmons Hanly Conroy? They’re the best,” expressed Kelley.

Jimmy and Kelley continue to cherish their time together while embracing the spirit of rock and roll in their everyday lives.

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Help for Families Impacted by Mesothelioma

As a leading national mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy has the resources and experience to help families like the Johnsons receive asbestos compensation that can help pay for medical bills and secure their financial future.

“Neither one of us had ever been through any kind of a lawsuit before. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. But we did it — and we’re glad we did,” said Jimmy.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our team is standing by to help. Call (800) 326-8900 now for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Simmons Support Team
Simmons Hanly ConroyWritten by:

Editorial Team

The Simmons Hanly Conroy Editorial Team consists of journalists, writers and editors who strive to deliver accurate and useful information to families needing legal help. Our team works alongside the firm's attorneys and partners, as well as with medical professionals and other specialists, to keep all information relevant and helpful.